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The importance of rest

the importance of rest

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Do you remember when you were at nursery school? After dinner, you and all the other children would lay down next to each other for quiet time? This was not only for the benefit of the staff, it was to rejuvenate physiological systems, returning them back to rest again after what had probably been very stimulating mornings!

How much rest do we need?

We all know that growing children need regular rest, but in this part of the world the concept is, that beyond a certain age there is not really a need for rest until the retirement decades. During adulthood, people often confide guiltily that they had a lie down in the afternoon as if it were something forbidden, rather than an act of kindness to themselves. People have holidays from work, are surprised that they repeatedly become ill or feel extremely tired? People fail to realise they have been running on empty for too long.

the importance of rest

Lack of rest and stress

Rest is one of the best, if not the best, natural remedy for many day-to-day ailments, which are caused by pushing yourself during times of low energy. When we are busy and going from here to there, we are constantly juggling responsibilities. Our nervous system is on the go the whole time. The nervous system absorbs and processes information, sending signals to the rest of our body to release hormones, preparing for fight or flight in times of stress. All of this unseen activity is tiring, added to the patterns of eating on the go, trying to do more than one thing at once and having overly active minds, it is not surprising that stress is becoming the number one threat to health in the west.

Calm the mind

A commitment to taking a regular rest is a way of literally resetting your bodies internal systems. It’s the same as when you sleep, everything settles down and replenishes. A twenty-minute lay down each day where you consciously let your mind settle, gives your body the same message as it receives during a night’s sleep. Practised over a prolonged period will encourage you to generally slow down in your life, which will send messages to your nervous system that it is ok to relax.

Check in with yourself, how do you feel about taking time out each day to rest? We all use the same excuses, being too busy, having too many demands. Having a look at the long-term view, taking a small amount of time each day for rest can benefit our health and wellbeing immensely, making us all less stressed in our day-to-day, busy lives.





About Jenny Smith

About Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith is a freelance writer and facilitator specialising in mental health, well-being and ecotherapy. She writes for National Mind and The Working Parent and facilitates training in the Work that Reconnects and Ecotherapy. She is inspired by nature, gardening, love and non-duality teachings

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